‘We are actively committed to investing in Africa’
Turkish President of the Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkiye (TUSKON), Mr. Rizanur Meral, says Turkey is committed to investing and doing business in Africa. He added that Turkey’s industrialists see Africa as a trade partner with numerous business opportunities.
His comments came on Tuesday during a discussion organized by the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI) at the Addis Hilton where he was the featured guest.
According to Meral, his organization is encouraging Turkish businesses to leverage their capital, knowhow and flexibility to venture into the energy, agriculture, textile, food processing, and mining businesses. “These were seen as priority areas by Prime Minister Haile Mariam of Ethiopia and current Chair of the African Union. Tuskon will be working to advance this important agenda.” Meral explained.
In his introduction Kebour Ghenna, the Executive Director of PACCI said that there is a lot to be done in strengthening business relations, as both African countries and Turkey stand to benefit tremendously from increased cooperation. Kebour explained that the establishment of an appropriate and favourable legal framework for bilateral economic relations is of crucial importance. In fact, Turkey and African countries should work on agreements on the prevention of double taxation as well as on economic and technical cooperation.
The value of trade between Turkey and sub-Saharan Africa (primarily South Africa and Nigeria) is estimated to have reached nearly $20bn in 2009, around three times the figure for 2003. In Ethiopia there was only one Turkish company operating in 2003, but currently that figure has reached 239 Turkish companies with an investment amount of USD 1.6 billion.
Tuskon is a non-governmental and non-profit umbrella organization representing 7 business federations, 178 business associations and over 42 000 entrepreneurs from all over Turkey. With four foreign representations offices in Brussels, Washington, Moscow, and Beijing and now with a fifth office to be opened in Addis Ababa, and partner organizations in 140 different countries, TUSKON has created the strongest domestic and international business network of Turkey.